Monday, February 4, 2019

Closed for RECONSTRUCTION (Ha, ha)

A dozen years ago when I began blogging, I hoped to bring a very specific message to a group of Christians about what must be one of the most unpopular topics on the planet.  Some call it spiritual abuse, while other disciplines describe the same dynamics as thought reform, undue influence, and the like, but it is really just describing different vantages on what the Apostle Paul called ‘the works of the flesh.’  Some people seem to suffer little, while others bear the teeth marks of the wolf, and those wounds always look the same.

As my friend Janet put it, I helped a good many people figure out what had happened to them by giving them the construct and language that they needed to describe the experience that they had in their church.  “I helped people figure out that they weren’t crazy!” 

Twelve years and more than a thousand posts ago, only a few resources like this blog existed, and most of them were not Christian friendly.  I wrote about how my life and the lives of my same aged peers had been impacted by the culture of Christian homeschooling throughout my childbearing years.  Today, things are different.  Nearly all of the ‘ministries’  that I wrote about suffered some scandal of some variety — scandals of their own making.  The never-been-kissed-couple divorced, the patriarch practically schtupped the nanny, the babies have been proudly buried in the backyard, and that guy that kissed dating goodbye started singing an entirely different tune.  A bully ran off to the third world, and I heard that his daughter wrote about her regret over the role she placed in the performance.  The young stay-at-home-daughters are still doing just that —twelve prime childbearing years later.  And I don’t think that Gothard still gets the footsie action that he once enjoyed.  (If you’re unfamiliar with that reference, you really don’t want to know,)

But another set of things happened.  My purpose changed when I met my goals, and the personalities once mentioned here have largely faded into obscurity.  The content here, the tone, and the mission changed, as did I.  The audience also grew and changed, too.  

This blog has sat tacit for about a year (at the time of this writing) as I pondered what direction if any my writing should take.  My theses on the topics presented here have stood for over a decade and have not changed.  I stand by the integrity of the work which the Internet still holds in some manner or form, but I wish to update the material (and treat it to the better copy editing that it deserved the first time through!).

If you’re at all familiar with the writings of a fellow named Rushdoony, he coined and often used a phrase that I believe applies to the persons to whom I’ve alluded.  

They are now ‘culturally irrelevant.’

(If anyone still has access to his armchair tapes, Rushdoony warned about the danger that the leaders in the defunct movement came to promote, all while claiming in error that Rushdoony was their champion.)

To put my sentiment a different way, I find myself returning to this unpleasant analogy which I have used in blog posts in the past:  the stool sample.  Oh, in many instances, it is essential to examine stool at early stages in treatment.  Is there occult (hidden) blood?  Is there a parasite?  Is there an infection with a virus or a pathogenic bacteria?  Rarer still, bowel contents can be examined for content, and sometimes one observes it to retrieve foreign bodies.  These assessments cannot be made by any other means, but they are not the focus of the care of one who is ill. 

Much of the early material presented on this website was very much like examining stool — the excrement of pontiffs who wished to make a living by selling a lifestyle.  They made stool up as they went along, spinning yarns and webs and blowing smoke as they went.  They provoked and played on fear in the hearts of Christian parents, promising even centuries of success to those who would follow their prescription for sin sick lives of insignificance.  I examined the writings and the podcasts and the films offered up as the ‘how to’ manuals for this lifestyle.  

Someone once mocked these efforts by noting that they all could be changed to a single title:  “Patriarchy:  UR Not Doing it Right!”  If you didn’t get what they promised, the fault was your own.  And every pontiff had a special gem of wisdom that no one else had, so you had to keep buying the latest whatever so that you could get  the newest, secret pearl from heaven that only that guru could offer you.
A late edit 20Mar19:  Fun with Narcissists Fridays

I went through the excrement, and I critiqued what they proffered.  I performed the analysis of the stool sample,  At the time it was essential to do so.  A decade later, however, what do I want my work and my time to add to the world?  I don’t want it to be a compendium of excrement samples.  There may be excrement to come, and I may play pathologist again at some point in the future,  Like the poor, I suspect that the aberrant doctrine and the charlatan pontiffs we will always have with us.  (Thanks to freak show cable, it looks like we’re stuck with the Duggars, too.)  And as PT Barnum started, there will be no dearth of unsuspecting people who will buy what amounts to excrement in the fullness of time.

That said, I don’t want my life to be about someone else’s excrement, nor do I want it to consume any more of my time than it already has.  There are times and seasons, and I would like for this season to end.  I believe that the season along with the audience turned a whole decade ago anyway.  The Kingdom of God was never eating and drinking or lifestyle elements, and no one should be trying to sell righteousness, peace, or joy.  What do you have, and what do you need more of in your life?  I know what I want in mine, and it’s not other people’s filth.

For a new season comes a deliberately new direction, tone and mission.  It has been so for some time, and the best of the writing that once appeared here has been captured elsewhere.  That which is relevant will always survive the editing and shuffling.  Truth is transcendent that way.  I may decide to publish a book or a series of them, and I’m sure that the time worthy elements that once appeared here will re-emerge.  Time will tell.

In the interim, if you’re searching for something that you once read here, feel free to drop me an email, and I’ll see if I can assist you.

Peace and joy and blessings to all,

Photo credit.